After a decade in federal politics, Richard Cannings, longtime NDP MP for South Okanagan-West Kootenay is not seeking re-election.
He announced Sept. 12 that he will not be running in the next election, which is scheduled to take place in 2025. Cannings has had an influential and successful career as an opposition MP that punched well above his weight with his party holding the balance of power during consecutive minority governments, stated a news release from the NDP.
“It has been an honour to represent the diverse and passionate people across this beautiful riding. I got into politics to work across party lines and get things done,” he stated in the release. “I’m proud of what our party has accomplished and the key legislation I brought forward to make a difference in our region and across Canada.”
Among Cannings’ successes are the adoption of his Use of Wood in Federal Infrastructure bill that supports the mass timber industry in our riding; his work on the excise tax exemption in support of local beverage producers; significant work to win meaningful action to tackle climate change, including accelerated measures for emission reductions, just transition legislation and real action to phase out subsidies to the fossil fuel sector. Cannings has also worked to secure better protection for species at risk and enhance protection of lakes and rivers in BC.
As part of the Official Opposition NDP caucus, Cannings work has included the achievement of dental care for all Canadians – the biggest expansion of Canada’s public health care system since its inception; the passing of the Canada Child Care Act, securing a funded plan for $10/day child care after 30 years of promises; anti-scab legislation; an Indigenous-led housing program; and numerous measures to increase financial support to the Canadians that need it most.
“Cooperation is better than empty critique, pushing is better than pure politicking,” he said. “This is what we’ve done, and our strong team led by Jagmeet Singh has delivered longstanding wins for everyday folks. The Liberals would not have made any of these changes without the NDP insisting the government take action.”
“This is an opportunity to continue this work with a new NDP MP. I’ve spoken with several strong candidates that will make me proud to pass on the torch,” continued Cannings.
“I believe our riding understands that electing an NDP representative means putting aside the politics and working to secure good policies that help people. I look forward to seeing our next NDP MP elected in 2025.”
Until the next election, Cannings said he will continue to serve, citing projects such as adoption of a national pharmacare plan, pushing to have his Environmental Bill of Rights passed and for significant investments in housing and affordability measures.
Cannings added he “looked forward to sharing his time with the many non-profits he has worked with, opportunities to reconnect with the region full-time, and time with family, including new grandchildren.”